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ON THIS DAY | German Composer Karl Amadeus Hartmann Born in 1905

Hartmann was known for condemning — and being condemned by — Nazi Germany and wrote powerful politically-charged works

German composer Karl Amadeus Hartmann was born on this day in 1905.

Despite being largely overlooked in many English-speaking countries, he is often lauded as one of the greatest German symphonists of the 20th century. He drew musical influences from composers of the Western canon — including Bach, Mahler, and Hindemith — as well as everything from jazz to expressionism.

His compositions were often politically charged, as Hartmann was a socialist who staunchly opposed the Nazis and fascism. During World War II, Hartmann half-poisoned himself to avoid military conscription.

His music's characterization is "atonal" and "degenerate."Hartmann wrote eight symphonies and a number of works for violin, piano, and small ensembles, many of which powerfully lamented World War II. One such work, his "Concerto Funebre" for violin and string orchestra — originally titled "Musik der Trauer," or "music of mourning" — was written in protest of Hitler's occupation of Prague.

 

ARABELLA STEINBACHER | KARL AMADEUS HARTMANN | CONCERTO FUNÈBRE | ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA | 2011

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